2022 Schedule

April 24
May 22
June 26
July 24
August 28
September 25
October 23

Registration 0830 - 0930
Shooting starts at 1000

Club members - $20
Nonmembers - $25

Special 2 Gun
May 29
July 31
October 30

Steel Challenge
April 9
May 14
June 11
July 9
August 13
September 10
October 8
November 12

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New Shooter Orientation

IPSC/USPSA style practical pistol shooting can be a very fun and exciting sport. Because this sport utilizes pistols with live ammunition there are many rules that must be followed to ensure everyone’s safety. New shooters are welcome and strongly encouraged to attend a practice session on Thursday nights at 5:30 PM before attending a match. This will allow for familiarization of safety regulations, range commands, scoring, and type of gear best suited for the sport.

Safety is Rule One!

  • WCRH and all USPSA matches are alcohol and drug free. No alcohol is allowed. Shooters believed to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs will be asked to leave the premises and may be turned over to law enforcement if needed.
  • Eye and hearing protection is required when the range is hot. When arriving at the WCRH pistol bays eye protection must always be worn. Ear plugs or muffs must be worn when the range is hot or anyone is shooting.
  • WCRH adherers to the USPSA cold range principle. Pistols must be unloaded and holstered except when instructed otherwise by a RO (Range Officer). CPL (Concealed Pistol License) holders may unload their side arms at the CPL unload table outside of the pistol bay area. Unloaded pistols may be handled only at designated safe areas or when instructed by a RO.
  • No ammunition may be handled at the safe area. Any participant or observer discovered handling a firearm outside the safe area will be DQ (disqualified) from the match and asked to leave the premises.
  • Handguns must be carried in a holster that covers the trigger guard and have an empty magazine well.
  • Once instructed to “Make Ready”, loaded weapons must be pointed only down range.
  • An imaginary line called the 180 separates the shooting course of fire (COF) area from observers. Pointing a weapon up range (loaded or unloaded) is a very serious issue and will result in immediate DQ.
  • Pistols may be loaded only when on a COF and overseen by a RO. When a shooter has a loaded pistol they must follow commands given by the RO. If an RO says “STOP” the shooter must remove their finger from the trigger and await instructions. Do not turn towards the RO with an unholstered pistol. (see 180 above)
  • Shots may only be fired when on a COF, under the direct observation of a RO, and must remain down range and into the backstop. Shots fired over the backstop (accidental or intentional) will result in DQ and being asked to leave.
  • Steel targets may only be engaged from within a designated shooting area.
  • Observers must remain behind the 180 and outside the COF while the range is hot. Do not enter the COF until the “Range is Clear” command is given.

Range Commands

When it is your turn to shoot, walk into the shooting area and stand slightly in front of and beside the RO directing the COF. If you don’t understand what is expected or are a new shooter, let the RO know now. The RO will answer questions about start position and general COF guidelines. They will not tell you how to shoot the stage. When ready, the RO will begin the COF using standard range commands.

Make Ready – facing down range, the shooter may unholster their pistol, take a sight picture, and load the weapon with appropriate ammunition. It is a best practice to immediately apply the safety after inserting ammunition. The gun will be reholstered or placed in the appropriate starting position for the COF. Now is the time to clear your mind and assume the starting position stated in the stage description.

Are You Ready? – will be asked by the RO. You may nod, acknowledge verbally, or simply stand mute if you are ready to begin. No answer is an acceptance of readiness. If you are not ready or notice a problem within the COF you must say “Not ready” to the RO.

Standby – is the warning that the start signal is coming. The RO will hold an audible device beside the shooters head and activate the start signal within 1-4 seconds. The shooter must not draw the weapon or move from the designated start position until the signal is heard.

Stop! – if the RO identifies a safety issue or problem within the COF they will command the shooter to stop. A shooter must stop immediately, remove their finger from the trigger guard, apply the safety, and await instructions. Do not turn towards the RO or face up range. The RO will advise of the issue and instruct the shooter what needs to be done.

If You Are Finished, Unload And Show Clear – is the command given when the RO believes that a COF has been completed by the shooter. When hearing this command, the shooter should keep their pistol pointed down range and: release the magazine or open the cylinder, eject any remaining ammunition, and hold the gun so the RO can confirm an empty chamber. Even though the RO is inspecting your pistol, the shooter is responsible to ensure the handgun is unloaded.

If Clear, Hammer Down, Holster – will be instructed once the RO has inspected the empty chamber of the gun. The shooter will release the slide and pull the trigger with the gun pointed down range. The trigger must be pulled, not using the decocker. Revolver shooters will close the cylinder. While remaining facing down range, the pistol is reholstered. A shot fired from a competitor’s gun after this command is given will be DQ so make sure your gun is unloaded and clear in the unload and show clear phase.

Range Is Clear – is declared by the RO once a shooter has completed a COF and the RO has observed the gun is in a safe position. Only after the “range is clear” command should observers approach the shooting area or venture in front of the 180.


After the RO gives the Range Is Clear command the targets on the COF will be scored and readied for the next competitor. It is expected that everyone who isn’t officiating or preparing to shoot will help to score and ready targets. However, it is important that targets are scored by the RO and the shooter given an opportunity to see their hits (or misses) before a target is taped/pasted. Do not touch any target on a COF until it has been scored by the RO. Prematurely taping a target may be cause for the RO to require the shooter to reshoot the COF or, depending on the situation, may incur a penalty (up to DQ) for the person who pasted the target. Generally competitors will follow the RO and paste targets behind them. Or, sometimes in large helpful squads, competitors will stand near an array of targets and wait for the RO to score them then patch/paste. If you’re unsure if a target has been scored, ask the RO. It is far better to ask than mess up a shooter’s score and maybe require a reshoot. Some ROs or score keepers will call “Scoring Complete” when the last target has been scored. This is an indicator to everyone that it is now okay to paste targets and reset the stage for the next shooter.

The process of actual scoring is not too difficult but beyond the purview of this page. As a new shooter, worry more about being safe and following the rules than calculating your score. After a few times observing the scoring, you will pick it up easy enough.


Entire websites could be devoted to choosing gear used for USPSA shooting events. In fact, even among seasoned shooters there are disagreements in what gear is suggested. New shooters should attend a practice session to talk with more experienced shooters before going out to buy a bunch of gear. Some sales staff at gun shops understand what USPSA practical shooting is about but sadly, most do not. As you progress, your gear needs may change in order to better “play the game”. For now, use this as a simple guide for the minimum gear that is required to participate in a USPSA event.

Safety glasses and hearing protection – Glasses should be worn at all times when on a range. Splatter or shot from other bays can travel over berms and cause serious injury at 50 yards or more. Prescription glasses may be okay depending on the size and composition but glasses meeting ANSI Z87.1 standards are suggested. You can pick up a pair of cheep (beginners) glasses at your local shop for under $5. Ear plugs or muffs are a personal preference that is affected by comfort, temperature, and cost. Very basic expandable foam earplugs can be purchased in packs of 10 at the local drug store or sporting goods for under $5 and will be fine for your first time at the range.

Holster and Mag Pouches – The holster used can be of many varieties but in all cases it must cover the trigger guard. There are rules governing holsters depending on the type of gun and division. Most holsters that you would purchase at a gun shop will be fine for a beginner. If you don’t have a holster, don’t fret, many of the people that come to practice on Thursday night have extra or the RO can choose to let you start from a low ready position. Magazine pouches are much like holsters and many image-conscious shooters like their holster and mag pouches to match. Depending on the division you shoot in, there can be a huge difference in the type, location, and mechanism of mag pouches allowed. Obviously you will want a sturdy belt to hold all this on as well.

Gun & Ammo – The majority of pistols purchased will be acceptable for use in USPSA as long as they are 9mm and above in caliber. Bring what you have and someone can explain what division it will fall under and then explain the rules that apply. If you plan to shoot your carry gun, it must be unloaded at the CPL unload area and must remain unloaded except when on a COF. We use a lot of ammo in practical shooting! For your first time out, bring a hundred rounds (minimum) of any quality practice round. Usually these are FMJ or “Copper Jacketed”. Don’t bring armor piercing, frangible, or steel-cored bullets as these are safety hazards.

There are other items that are desirable but optional at this time. As a new shooter it is a good idea to talk with others before investing a lot of money in gear. Most of the people that shoot USPSA are happy to help new shooters. Let us help you avoid some of the mistakes we made.

Finally, feel free to contact Bob if you have any questions or concerns.

We hope to see you Thursday night at practice!


4 Responses to “New Shooter Orientation”

  • steve:

    Any IDPA?

  • Angelo:

    Do you accept spectators on a Match day? I want to see and learn more.

    • admin:

      Yes, you’re free to come and observe a match if you wish. Our matches are the fourth Sunday of the month April through November. Everyone on the range is required to wear eye and hearing protection so come prepared. Ask someone for Roy, Geoff, or Rob G and they’ll be happy to show you around.

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